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Dragon Naturally Speaking Reviews - 2003


ScanSoft Introduces Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 Professional with Unrivaled Speech Recognition Accuracy and Accessibility Features

Eliminates the Need for Headset Microphones, Connects to Pocket PC Devices and Gains Section 508 Certification

PEABODY, Mass., March 26, 2003 - ScanSoft, Inc. (Nasdaq: SSFT), a leading supplier of imaging, speech and language solutions, today announced the immediate availability of Dragon NaturallySpeaking® 7 Professional, a new release of the world's best-selling speech recognition solution for Microsoft Windows. The new product is specifically designed to increase the productivity of office professionals in all organizations, and includes new features that make personal computing more accessible to everyone, including persons with disabilities. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 also provides integration tools that facilitate the speech-enablement of both commercial and in-house PC and Web applications.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 Professional is the most accurate version of the product ever, boasting a 15 percent improvement over the previous release, resulting in accuracy levels as high as 99 percent. Its high accuracy provides professionals with the ability to convert speech into text at up to 160 words-per-minute, over three times faster than the average typing speed.

New in this release is support for array and wireless microphones, which eliminates the need for traditional headset microphones that tether the user to a PC or laptop with a wire. Now, people can use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to speak to their applications more comfortably and naturally, with an array microphone mounted on their desk, monitor or nearby wall. Also new is expanded support for mobile dictation capabilities, with users now able to dictate into standard Microsoft Pocket PC devices and have their recordings automatically transcribed by Dragon NaturallySpeaking when they sync with their PC.

"Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 Professional is an impressive product, with enhancements that will be eagerly received by existing users," said Eric Fishman of 1450, Inc., a speech recognition technology reseller and system integrator. "For new users, the release really focuses on what was needed to make speech recognition a mainstream office productivity application - accuracy, flexibility and ease-of-use. There is no question that professionals everywhere will be able to transform the way that they work by using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7."

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 Professional instantly speech-enables Microsoft Windows applications, allowing users to control menu items, input text and data, and control cursor movements simply by speaking. As the only PC dictation product available that enables the complete hands-free use of the PC on all commonly used Windows operating systems, Dragon NaturallySpeaking has become the de-facto standard solution for people overcoming repetitive stress injuries and other disabilities.

Extending its leadership in making personal computing more accessible for all users, Dragon NaturallySpeaking is now the first and only desktop speech recognition application to be certified as compliant with Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act. Section 508 (29 U.S.C. s794d) applies to all United States agencies when they develop, procure, maintain or use electronic and information technology, and mandates that those agencies must purchase products that give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others. For additional information on this important U.S. government mandate, please visit www.section508.gov.

"Dragon NaturallySpeaking is clearly a valuable and indispensable tool for people with disabilities, enabling them to achieve vocational satisfaction in a dignified and technologically savvy fashion," said Mark Young MD, Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Maryland Vocational Rehabilitation Center. "ScanSoft's innovation eases the back-to-work transition for people with physical impairments, enabling people with disabilities of many types to return to work and once again achieve economic self-sufficiency."

The new release also includes the DNS SDK, a developer toolkit that is used to speech-enable commercial and in-house applications, including Web-based content management, customer relationship management (CRM) and database applications. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 Professional also includes a range of advanced features that simplify the administration of speech recognition capabilities within enterprise and multi-seat environments. These include a pre-configured MSI (Microsoft Installer) file for centralized network installation and updates, and the ScanSoft® DNS Administrator, a new utility that enables the centralized management of multiple voice profiles and custom vocabularies within a networked environment.

The World's Best-Selling Speech Recognition Made Better

To help users increase their productivity and achieve more seamless interaction with a PC, ScanSoft has added a number of key capabilities to Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 Professional, including:

Most Accurate Ever - Significant improvements to the Dragon NaturallySpeaking recognition system has yielded an unprecedented accuracy improvement of up to 15 percent over the previous release, resulting in speech recognition accuracy levels as high as 99 percent.

Fastest Ever - More than 50 percent improvement in the initialization time of Dragon Naturally Speaking 7 enables "10 seconds to dictation" on baseline systems. Users can train the software on their voice patterns in just five minutes.

Expanded Input Device Support - Users can now "talk-and-dock" using standard Pocket PC devices, in addition to handheld digital recorders, to record mobile dictation for automatic transcription when they synch to their PCs.

Support for Array Microphones and Wireless Headsets - Version 7 is the first Dragon NaturallySpeaking to support array and wireless microphones, giving users the freedom to dictate without being tethered to their PC by a wire.

Most Accessible Ever - Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 Professional Solutions can help people with disabilities achieve maximum productivity on PCs, as well as help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other muskuloskeletal disorders. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 Professional is the only PC Dictation application that meets Section 508 standards, established by the US government to make software accessible for people with disabilities.

Most Application Support Ever - Nearly all-standard Microsoft Windows applications are speech-enabled simply by installing Dragon NaturallySpeaking, allowing the use of all interface menus and input fields simply by speaking. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 Professional comes with enhanced support for the full Microsoft Office Suite and Corel Word Perfect.

Enterprise Ready - Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional is available with a pre-configured MSI file for push installations throughout a network environment. The new ScanSoft DNS Administrator utility enables IT professionals to manage and update user profiles and vocabularies from a central network location.

New Vocabulary Optimizer - Users can instruct Dragon NaturallySpeaking to instantly analyze sentence structure and word use frequency in previously created documents. Dragon NaturallySpeaking then automatically adjusts the recognition engine to match the user's unique writing patterns, thereby further increasing accuracy.

Improved RealSpeak Proofing - The time and effort needed to proofread a document created by voice has been significantly reduced with ScanSoft® RealSpeak™ Proofing, which reads email and document text aloud in a human-sounding synthesized voice. Dragon NaturallySpeaking can also play back the original voice recording associated with any dictated document, which facilitates third-party transcription editing.

Expanded Custom Voice Shortcuts - The ability to create custom voice shortcuts, where a word or phrase will trigger the insertion of standardized text, has been expanded. Users can create a custom voice shortcut for standard letter closings-including a graphic of their signature-and have it automatically added to their email or Microsoft Word correspondence by simply saying the shortcut command (i.e. "Add signature"). The inserted text now automatically matches the font of the destination document.

Speech Recognition for Developers and System Integrators - DNS SDK (Software Developers Kit) enables integrators to add custom speech capabilities to commercial and in-house applications, including Web-based content management, customer relationship management (CRM) and database applications.
"ScanSoft's history in productivity applications has provided us with an appreciation of our customers' need to streamline manual processes and achieve a greater return on their technology investments," said Robert Weideman, chief marketing officer at ScanSoft. "Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional has the accuracy and functionality that make it a powerful solution for organizations of all sizes, providing everything needed to help people get more done in less time."


ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 Professional is available immediately through ScanSoft's professional sales organization and global network of reseller partners. For additional information on features, pricing and volume licensing programs, please visit www.ScanSoft.com or call (1) 800-443-7077.

About ScanSoft, Inc.

ScanSoft, Inc. (Nasdaq: SSFT) is a leading supplier of imaging, speech and language solutions that are used to automate a wide range of manual processes - saving time, increasing worker productivity and improving customer service. For more information regarding ScanSoft products and technologies, please visit www.ScanSoft.com.

Trademark reference: ScanSoft, the ScanSoft logo, RealSpeak and Dragon NaturallySpeaking are registered trademarks or trademarks of ScanSoft, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other company or product names may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

The statements in this press release that relate to future plans, events or performance are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including risks associated with market trends, competitive factors, and other risks identified in ScanSoft's SEC filings. Actual results, events or performance may differ materially. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof.

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